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FINRA Bars Ex-Wells Fargo Rep Over Client Money in His Bank Account

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What You Need to Know

  • The ex-Wells Fargo rep allegedly transferred client funds to his own bank account without permission.
  • Wells Fargo terminated him in April over those allegations.
  • He then refused to provide documents and information requested by FINRA.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has barred an ex-Wells Fargo broker who allegedly misappropriated client funds that were received in his own personal bank account without the permission of clients, according to FINRA.

Without admitting or denying FINRA’s findings, Tyler Rigsbee signed a FINRA  letter of acceptance, waiver and consent on June 25 in which he consented to the imposition of FINRA’s sanction against him. FINRA signed the letter Wednesday.

“At Wells Fargo Advisors we hold our employees to the highest professional standards of putting our clients’ interests first,” a spokesperson for the wirehouse told ThinkAdvisor on Friday. “The advisor involved in this matter is no longer with the firm.”

Thomas A. Johnson, a Sacramento, California lawyer who represented Rigsbee in his dispute with FINRA, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Rigsbee first became registered with FINRA in 2014. In October 2016, he registered through Wells Fargo Clearing Services as a general securities representative.

On April 9, 2021, Wells Fargo filed a Form U5 termination notice in which it disclosed it had discharged Rigsbee two days earlier “during the course of an internal review where documents appear to show that client funds were received in his personal bank account after being transferred from Wells Fargo to a third party broker dealer, and then on to his bank account, without permission from clients,” according to the FINRA AWC letter.

On April 20, FINRA sent a request to Rigsbee for the production of information and documents. However, “as stated in his counsel’s email to FINRA on June 22, 2021, and by this agreement, Rigsbee acknowledges that he received FINRA’s request and will not produce the information or documents requested,” according to FINRA.

As a result of his actions, Rigsbee violated FINRA Rules 8210 (governing the provision of information and testimony and inspection and copying of books) and 2010 (governing standards of commercial honor and principles of trade), according to FINRA.

Not providing documents and other info requested by FINRA is typically a surefire way to be barred.

(Photo: Shutterstock)